How can I report child abuse in Ireland?

Learn more about how to protect a child from abuse and how to report child abuse in Ireland

Written by Children's Rights Alliance


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This factsheet is an extract from the publication Know Your Rights: The Rights of Children and Young People published by the Children’s Rights Alliance. It is reproduced here with their kind permission. Know Your Rights is a public information project designed to inform everyone, in plain language, of the rights and entitlements children have in Ireland and where to go when they are not respected.

If you suspect a child is getting inadequate care, protection or being abused you should contact the social worker on duty in Tusla in the child’s local area. If it is outside office hours, and you feel the child is in immediate danger, you should contact the Gardaí on 999 or 112.

You can find out more information about child abuse and how to respond to it by reading the Children First National Guidance for the Protection and Welfare of Children, available on Tusla’s website.

How do I get a protection order for my child?

You can apply to the court for an order to protect you and your child from domestic violence. A court can make a Protection Order, which prevents someone from threatening to use violence or fear against you and your family.

If a person lives with you, the Protection Order prevents them from:

  • the use of violence, or threats to use violence against the applicant/dependent, or
  • molesting or putting the applicant/dependent in fear

If the person does not live with you, the Protection Order prevents them from:

  • hanging around
  • watching your house
  • following or communicating (including by electronic means) with you and your family

A Protection Order lasts until you get a full court hearing. At this stage the court can decide to grant:

  • a Safety Order: this is a longer-term order that does the same things as a Protection Order, or
  • a Barring Order:  this is an order to prevent the violent person from being in the home

In certain circumstances, Tusla can also apply for the order on your behalf.

There are many services which offer short and longer-term refuge for those seeking to escape domestic violence. There are a number of organisations that can help you if you or someone in your home is currently experiencing domestic violence. These organisations can help you access:

  • a refuge
  • legal advice
  • emotional support
  • advice on available services

Call the Women’s Aid National Freephone Helpline or contact AMEN for support for domestic abuse.

Need more information?

We are here to answer your questions and talk through your options. Our online chat service is for 16 to 25 year olds and is available Monday to Friday, 4pm to 8pm. Chat to us now about your situation.

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